who will be next World Bank President What will they do


FT: strong comments. Following its strong editorial yesterday the Financial Times has an article and interview on Wolfowitz. Yesterday it said Wolfowitz at the World Bank would be like having the "fox in charge of the chicken coop" (surely they meant wolf).

The editorial continued: "the world would view a bank directed by Mr Wolfowitz as no more than an instrument of US power and US priorities. Every piece of advice the bank gave and condition it set would be made illegitimate, in the eyes of recipients, by the perception that it served the interests of the world's 'sole superpower'. The impact on the bank's legitimacy would be hugely damaging".

Today a long follow-up piece (subs) by Demetri Sevastopulo and Andrew Balls profiles Wolfowitz "the hight priest of hawks". Some extracts:
1) "his ability to be independent [of the US administration] could be compromised by his ties to the inner circles of hte Bush administration";
2) "the Bank presidency provides a bully pulpit for its incumbent";
3) "many Pentagon insiders say he has been an ineffective manager", and;
4) "Wolfowitz is not praised for his multilateralist credentials - he authorised a policy precluding countries outside the US-led coalition from bidding for Iraqi construction contracts".

It notes the concern of the East Timorese prime minister that Wolfowitz was very close to the Suharto regime which dominated Indonesia for thirty years.

The long Wolfowitz interview (subs) with the FT does not include many gems but does have some longer answers than elsewhere on topics such as how Wolfowitz would approach democratisation.

The FT.com on-line poll is still running at over 80% against Wolfowitz. Our one is likewise.

Alex Wilks ~ March 19, 2005

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